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Biz group warns OT expansion could hurt workers

Stymied by Republicans in his effort to pass a law raising the minimum wage, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is moving to boost pay in Pennsylvania (AP file photo)

HARRISBURG -- The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is warning that Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's move to make hundreds of thousands of additional salaried employees eligible for overtime pay will force employers to cut back hours and pay.

The organization's president and CEO, Gene Barr, said Wednesday that it'll increase the cost of doing business, make workplace schedules less flexible and potentially reduce pay for former salary workers.

The regulation would require that salaried workers earning up to almost $48,000 a year in 2022 get time-and-a-half pay for any time they work over 40 hours in a week. Pennsylvania's current threshold is set at the federal baseline of $23,660, which took effect in 2004.

Wolf says raising the overtime threshold would strengthen the middle class and make wages fairer. Approval of the proposed regulation could take more than a year.

Several other states require overtime pay for salaried workers above the federal baseline.

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